There are different kinds of cracked teeth. One type of crack is called craze lines and these are tiny cracks that are just on the outer surface, on the enamel. They don’t require any treatment because the crack doesn’t extend into the dentin, which is the layer of your tooth that lies under the enamel. Dentin is harder than the pulp which closer to the root but is not as hard as enamel.
Cracks that go deeper into the dentin and pulp must be treated. Once the pulp begins degenerating and if it becomes infected, treatment becomes more complicated because it must be treated through a root canal.
Causes for Cracked Teeth
The ADA (American Dental Association) lists the following causes for cracked teeth:
- Chewing hard on objects or foods such as ice, nuts or hard candy
- An accident like a blow to the mouth
- Grinding and clenching your teeth
- Uneven chewing pressure
- Stress on a tooth
- Loss of a significant portion of tooth structure through wear, large fillings or other restorations
- Exposure of tooth enamel to temperature extremes, such as eating hot foods and then drinking ice water
- Brittleness of teeth that have undergone root canals
How Would You Know Whether You Have a Cracked Tooth?
You may experience no pain or symptoms at all, but when you do, they are usually one or more of the following:
- Pain when chewing or biting
- Pain when you eat something hot or cold
- A pain that comes and goes
Types of Treatments for Cracked Teeth
When your dentist discovers the crack early on, a filling may be all that is necessary to hold the tooth together. Depending on the extent of the crack, your dentist may recommend a crown or a root canal, and in the most extreme cases, your dentist may need to extract the tooth.
Dr. Baker stays on the cutting edge of dental technology to help his patients receive the best dental care possible.